The quest for nitrogen fixation in rice
To achieve food security through sustainable agriculture, the requirement for fixed nitrogen must be increasingly satisfied by biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) rather than by industrial nitrogen fixation. In view of the importance of BNF to sustainable agriculture. it is imperative to improve existing BNF systems and develop nitrogen-fixing nonlegume crops, particularly important cereal crops such as rice. To meet this challenge, IRRI organized a think-tank workshop in 1992 to assess the feasibility of nitrogen fixation in rice. Based on the research strategies recommended, IRRI launched a global collaborative initiative in 1993, the Frontier Project on Nitrogen Fixation in Rice. The long-term goal of this project is to enable rice plants to fix their own nitrogen. The Frontier Project involves a committed group of scientists from several research institutes around the world. The project also has a working group, through which IRRI facilitates communication among scientists worldwide with active research interests in nitrogen fixation in rice and other cereals. The working group periodically reviews the progress to evaluate how such new knowledge has furthered the probability of success in meeting this long-term goal. The third BNF working group meeting at IRRI, 9-12 August 1999 presented several significant results emanating from the Frontier Project. This book features the proceedings of the meeting, encompassing the latest research advances made in developing nitrogen-fixing rice.